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SENATE HANSARD 03 FEBRUARY 2016 VOL 25 NO 24

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PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Wednesday, 3rd February, 2016

The Senate met at Half-past Two o’clock p.m.

PRAYERS

(THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE in the Chair)

MOTION

DECLINING SOCIO-ECONOMIC CONDITIONS IN THE COUNTRY

          First Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the socio-economic conditions in the country.

          Question again proposed.

          HON. SEN. B. SIBANDA: I move that the debate do now adjourn.

          HON. SEN. MLOTSHWA: I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Thursday, 4th February, 2016.

MOTION

REPORT OF THE PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE DELEGATION TO THE 7TH WORLD WATER CONFERENCE

          Second Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the Report of the Parliament of Zimbabwe delegation to the 7th World Water Conference.

          Question again proposed.

          SENATOR MUMVURI: Thank you Madam President for giving me the opportunity to add my voice on this debate on water. I want to thank the delegation led by you Madam President which went to the Republic of Korea to bring us this report. I want to thank the mover, Senator Mlotshwa.

          It is a very pertinent issue which is grappling our nation at the moment. Madam President, in my wisdom I note that the Almighty God created three basic things which are to be accessed free of charge by humans. These are; free breathing space, water and land. The Constitution of Zimbabwe, Section 77 clearly states that every person has the right to safe, clean and portable water. It goes on to urge the State to take some legislative and other measures within the limits of the resources available to it in order to achieve the progressive realisation of that right, which is given upon us by the Constitution.

          Madam President, I believe that the number one target in Zimbabwe should be the ability to provide clean water to ordinary citizens in the rural areas and urban areas 24 hours, seven days a week. The situation is more precarious if there is a shortage of water. In the rural areas where the majority of us legislators come from, there are very desperate cases of shortage of water at the moment. As reported in the media recently, we have seen such places as Rushinga, which I represent in this House; they have got dire shortages of portable water.

Chiredzi, in Masvingo is similarly doing the same. Kezi, in Matabeleland South is also the same and this situation prevails in almost all the provinces. If the situation remains like that, then we are faced with a time bomb because people might resort to the use of contaminated water.

          HON. SEN MLOTSHWA: On a point of order Madam President. The Hon. President of the Chief’s Council is making noise and we cannot hear what Hon. Mumvuri is saying.

          THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: May I respectfully ask the Hon. President of the Chief’s Council to adhere to the rules of the House.

          HON. SEN. MUMVURI: I was saying if this situation is not harnessed, people will resort to the use of contaminated water. Contaminated water has its own dangers. It spreads diseases such as diarrhoea, cholera, scabies and typhoid. In that regard, in Harare so far, there have been seven or more cases of typhoid that have been reported. So, if there is going to be shortage of water, the number of cases will increase. This scenario the country over, calls for short term measures to help the dire situation. I would urge the authorities that be, not to pursue some of these long term high sounding programmes, which are applicable when the situation is normal. At the moment, I want to believe that the situation is not very normal, especially with the El Nino induced drought which we are facing.

          I have learned with dismay – that is the point which I want to make, through recent media reports, including today’s Herald on Business page (1), a full director from the Ministry of Environment, Water and Climate was sent off to Holland to study the Dutch water system. That study recommended the creation of three new directorates, fully manned and requiring funding. To me, it is contrary to what the Minister of Finance is trying to do. How can we create positions for new directors instead of having one director working with people under him doing all these roles that overlap. I therefore beg to differ in that approach to our water problem. The separate roles which were identified above, I would urge to be put under one department which must do the hydro-power licences. One of the roles that they are advocating for is the water quality testing. There is also the formulation of river outline plans – do they really need three separate directors? I do not think so. Honestly, Madam President, do we need to unbundle ZINWA, to come up with separate units which manage ground water, water supply system and dam construction.

I think from history, some of this unbundling has not served us right. The case-in-point is the unbundling of ZESA and REA. When REA embark on their projects, they do it half way and leave it for ZESA to come and inspect and then start on their own as well. So, why do we not just have it under one office so that we do not have to go from one office to another in order for a project to be completed? This is the point that I am trying to make, that sometimes we are pursuing long term projects which take a lot of time instead of looking for short term methods which can solve the problem of water that we are faced with at the moment.

My personal view is that this is unnecessary. What we need are practical approach methods. However, I should hasten to say that the water crisis, by and large in our country at the moment, is also our own making through the destruction of wetlands, which we have done all over both in urban and rural areas. We must be responsible citizens ourselves because wetlands provide sources of water, especially domestic water in the rural areas.

I appeal to the chiefs to prevent people from ploughing in the wetlands and not to allocate land for agriculture in the wetlands. There should be no building and construction of roads in the wetlands. Wetlands have been made dysfunctional though they are a vital source of water. I think we have got more of a crisis in the urban areas than in the rural areas at the moment because the land barons were letting people build in the wetlands.

To add onto that, the responsible authorities also dump waste in the wetlands. Local authorities should make it their priority to ensure that the presence of these wetlands provide clean and portable water. I thought I should add my voice by pointing out those few issues. I thank you.

HON. SEN KHUMALO: I just want to add a few words on the issue of water. I also thought it is not right when we are saying there is no money to keep on creating departments which are going to employ more people. My major issue however, is the effect of water on education. When children are supposed to go to school in the rural areas where there is no water, they either wake up very early in the morning to go and draw water so that they leave water in the home before they go to school. The schools, as we all know, are very far away from their homes and the children have to walk all those long distances.

Again, the pregnant women even if they are pregnant when the water is far nobody says ahh! now because we have a pregnant woman you sit down and we fetch the water for you. Even the husbands do not say sit down and let us hurry around and go to look for water. They expect that pregnant woman to go and fetch water for them to bath. Therefore, the effect of that over work on the woman is that she gets a backache. Sometimes, she even gets a low birth weight child because she is overworking and she has no time to rest so that the child inside can grow efficiently, so that it is above 2.5 kg. Therefore, we are increasing the malnutrition records in Zimbabwe because we do not give women the chance to rest to so that they get … –[HON. SENATORS: Hear, hear.]- The right size of the child.

          I am therefore, requesting that, can we go back to the drawing board, we used to have a programme which used to say give a dam. If we increase the number of dams, we can put pipes so that the water is brought a bit nearer to the homes so that the women can draw water nearer than at the present moment because of lack of water. On economic development and lack of water - women spend a lot of time, once we have diarrhea in the home, it is the woman who has to be busy looking after those children. This woman is supposed to be employed, doing productive work so that she can earn money and bring food to the home.

Therefore, if she is a miner she does not go to supervise her mine. Her funds which are supposed to come from that mine or from agricultural production are at a standstill and therefore the development is not there. We are asking that the water should be brought nearer the home so that the health aspect of the people in the home is kept at the right level and the women can be able to go to work.

          We know that in the industry and it is not only our homes which need water but our industries as well as you know we used to have water rationing. There is no water for so many hours and there is water for so many hours. Industry also stops at those hours when there is no water and if we want industrial development and we want to go forward, we need to have water so that we progress properly.

          Lastly, I have already mentioned the gender effect. When we are older, women get backaches and so forth which have been exacerbated by going longs distances to go and fetch some water. I am therefore, saying lastly, can we have water so that women can be healthy because water is near their homes and economic development can take place because women can also continue to do their productive economic development within their homes or at their work places. Thank you the Hon. Madam President of the Senate. –[HON. SENATORS: Hear, hear.]-

          THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: Thank you Hon. Sen. Khumalo.

          HON. SEN. MOHADI: Thank you Madam President for giving me this opportunity to add my voice to this motion. First and foremost, I would like to thank the delegation that you led to Korea and which was talking about water. Madam President of the Senate, allow me before I can get into the topic to thank you so much of thinking of us during the festive season and the New Year by sending some of us the cards “Christmas Cards”. –[HON. SENATORS: Hear, hear.]-

          THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: Thank you.

          HON. SEN. MOHADI: We really appreciate that because there are so many members here but we never got those cards it was may be only you and a few others who managed to think of this august House and send them Christmas Cards …

THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: You are very welcome thank you.

HON. SEN. MOHADI: Also, before I get into the subject I want to congratulate Senator Makwarimba a new member into this august House, you are most welcome –[HON. SENATORS: Hear, hear.]- This is the time we have been waiting for you to come into this House because our numbers as ZANU PF were not adequate. Thank you so much.

Going on to the issue of water as some members have alluded to - water is a human right. If water is a human right, really we should have water at all costs because water is a source of life. Without water there is no life for each and every one. Can you imagine Hon. Members, if we just take a picture of our source being may be at Parirenyatwa Hospital and a lot of women giving birth at the hospital without water. Can you just imagine what kind of a situation you imagine seeing without water at all?

Already in this town there are suburbs that have gone without water for more than 5 days. Without water really everything cannot move. Mr. President you find that some of us come from lowveld areas and we have been badly affected by climate change. You will find that there is no water at all. Dams are drying up, boreholes are going dry. The water table is going deeper and deeper and as a result, people and livestock are at risk. We pray to God that may be some miracle might happen so that we have water because if there are no rains as it is, that means I do not know whether we are going to have the life that we need because there is really a crisis in those areas. Mr. President, we can talk and talk of any other thing, you find that without water we cannot even talk about the irrigation schemes. The irrigation schemes are there in some areas but without water they cannot go anywhere at all.

          In the lowveld areas, there are livestock areas. We are talking about livestock as well as wildlife. They have started dying just because there is no water. Unfortunately, I do not have the figures with me but the deaths are occurring on a daily basis because there is no water at all. Even if we have the dry grass which we can feed our animals and the dry leaves which the animals can feed on but without the source of water anywhere, we are not going anywhere. Whenever we talk about the issue of water, we have to be very serious because it is really a big crisis.

          In my notes I had also put the issue of diseases but I will not dwell on that now because those who spoke before me have already touched on the issue. It is really a very thorny issue. Mr. President, we should start looking for techniques to harness the little water that we have, either water dripping from the roofs of our houses or running in small streams - we should make use of it. We should have a way to harness that water so that we can use every little bit of it because as we see it now our dams have been full, but in the dry areas the evaporation is very high. Water is just evaporating and the dams are running dry at the moment.

Mr. President, I thought maybe I should add these few words in order to remind this august House how important water is and how we should use our water. With these few words I would like to thank you.    

          *HON. MALULEKE: Thank you Mr. President for affording me this opportunity. There should be a reminder that we are dying. Where I come from in the lowveld, people moved because of the Tokwe-Mukorsi dam and they were resettled at Chingwizi. There were 36 boreholes that were more than 60m deep, only six are still functional. This is because of the drought. That was last year but one. In 2005 there was a serious heat wave, some deer would come and join goats so that they could drink water because water was inadequate. Water is life and for everything to live it revolves around water. If we have very little water, disease outbreak starts in our area, diseases such as cholera, typhoid and others such as diarrhea. We are close to Mozambique and South Africa; if we do not have water we are susceptible to such diseases.

          Mr. President, I urge those that are responsible for the administration of water to ensure that we have adequate or additional boreholes in our areas. Maybe, God help us we will be able to survive. Last week we had rains for the entire week. It was not widespread in all the areas. We urge the Government Department that is responsible for water to really bear in mind that water is life. Everything revolves around water to be alive so I urge them to serious consider our plight.  

We have irrigation schemes where they are irrigating sugarcane. They were irrigating sugarcane but because of the heat wave some of the sugarcane was drying up. That meant the water that they were using for irrigating was inadequate hence the sugarcane was drying.

          The depth of our boreholes ordinarily goes beyond 70m before they access water. This is Zimbabwe and there is not much we can do about it but the best that could be done is to ensure that we have even deeper boreholes so that we do not access water from distances that are too far. People have to cover these long distances so as to enable their families to survive. Like I indicated earlier on, life for fauna and flora depends on the availability of water. It was in the press that cattle are being now sold for $30 to $50 because there was no grazing land. It is because of the arid region that we find ourselves in and because of the aridness of the land we have sparse rainfall. The water is too salty and there are very few people who come to our area who would drink that water but those of us who live in that areas drink this water that is why you see us fat as we are. It is because of the salty water. It is our area and we are proud of it. We want sufficient water supplies despite the water being too salty.

          We come into the city; we do not know what the recycled water has in the form of diseases. We urge that in the towns there also be boreholes for people to have safe water. We believe that some of the chemicals that are being applied to water treatment have side effects. We should have sufficient boreholes that are in places where the sewer lines do not run. Some people are oblivious of the sewer lines as they do these boreholes.

Water is life. I have relatives in Mozambique, before they greet you they give you water to go and bath. That is their culture. They appreciate that maybe you have covered a long distance and you have been on the road for several days and not had an opportunity to bath hence you want to refresh. You are also given water to drink. There should be sufficient water for irrigation, portable water and all the other uses that water can be put to. Our trees also cry for water; but God intervened, we believe that we are now in a position that we would have sufficient rains. Last night there was some rainfall. I hope that we become one people, love each other and look after our fauna and flora using this water to ensure that we conserve our heritage. I thank you Mr. President for this opportunity. I would also like to thank the mover of the motion, Hon. Sen. Mlotshwa. It is an issue that affects mostly women for, we cannot do our household chores without water. Not a day goes by without using water. The issue of water is very important. I thank you.

HON. SEN. MLOTSHWA: Mr. President, I move that the debate do now adjourn.

HON. SEN. MUMVURI: I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Thursday, 4th February, 2016.

MOTION

PROMOTION OF SPORTS DEVELOPMENT

          Third Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the need to promote sports development in Zimbabwe.

          Question again proposed.

HON. SEN. CHIMBUDZI: Thank you Mr. President for affording me this opportunity to wind my motion. However, before I do that, I would like to thank the following members who contributed to my motion, especially Hon. Sen. Mumvuri who supported the motion. Sen. Mumvuri spoke on discipline amongst players themselves. We all know that discipline is very important in sports. It moulds a person’s history, it influences employment to other big teams, either in Africa or Europe. Therefore, discipline is very important. Thank you very much Hon. Sen. Mumvuri for your ideas.

Let me also thank other senators who contributed to my motion, Sen. Tawengwa, Sen. Mohadi, Sen. Goto, Sen. Maluleke, Sen. Sibanda, Sen. Mawire, Sen. Hlalo, Sen. Makore, Sen. Matiirira, Sen. Musaka, Sen. Ncube, Sen. Masuku, Sen. Mkhwebu, Sen. Bhebe, Sen. Machingaifa, Sen. Mavhunga, Sen. Chifamba, Sen. Manyeruke, Sen. Makone, Sen. Mashavakure, Sen. Sibanda and Sen. Mabugu. Thank you very much Hon. Senators.

Before winding my motion, I listed a few points which I think the Government should consider. These are;

  1. Government should enact appropriate laws to capacitate the Sports Council of Zimbabwe;
  2. Identify qualified coaches who will take sports to a higher level;
  3. Establish offices in all provinces where identification of talented players will take place in the rural areas;
  4. Eradicate corruption in sports;
  5. Have board members with a clear term of office, and
  6. Players should be well remunerated as a way of boosting their morale.

One more issue that was debated was the issue of corruption. We know that even when the President officially opened the Third Session of the Eighth Parliament on the 16th of September, 2015, he talked about corruption. So, when a Bill is send to this House, it is important for this House to give ideas to Government so that corruption is eradicated. Thank you very much Hon. Senators for your participation. However, I now urge the Minister of Sport and Recreation to take the good, which will promote sport in Zimbabwe so that we enjoy it.

Right now, our women Members of Parliament are players of golf and I am very happy about this. This is very important, we thank you our ladies because you are leading by example. I now move that this House adopt my motion.

Motion put that this House;

NOTING the need to promote sports development in the country;

COGNISANT that sports play a major role in uniting society;

CONSIDERING that men and women are involved in sport;

CONCERNED that many talented school leavers are loitering,

hence, some have experience in sports;

DESIROUS to see a policy that promotes sports in Zimbabwe;

ACKNOWLEDGING that sports can create employment;

NOW THEREFORE calls upon Government to;

  1. a) Government should enact appropriate laws to capacitate the Sports Council of Zimbabwe;
  2. b) Identify qualified coaches who will take sports to a higher level;
  3. c) Establish offices in all provinces where identification of talented players will take place in the rural areas; and
  4. d) Eradicate corruption in sports.

Motion put and adopted.

MOTION

PRESIDENTIAL SPEECH: DEBATE ON ADDRESS

          Fourth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion in reply to the Presidential Speech.

          Question again proposed.

          HON. SEN. TAWENGWA: I move that the debate do now adjourn.

          HON. SEN. MASUKU: I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Thursday, 4th February, 2016.

          On the motion of THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF MEDIA, INFORMATION AND BROADCASTING SERVICES (HON. SEN. MATHUTHU) the Senate adjourned at Nineteen Minutes past Three o’clock p.m.

 

 

 

 

Senate Hansard SENATE HANSARD 03 FEBRUARY 2016 VOL 25 NO 24